Definition: The resources an algorithm used to find an answer. It is usually measured in terms of the theoretical computations, such as comparisons or data moves, the memory used, the number of messages passed, the number of disk accesses, etc.
See also big-O notation, best case, worst case, average case.
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Entry modified 17 December 2004.
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Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "efficiency", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Paul E. Black, ed., U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. 17 December 2004. (accessed TODAY) Available from: http://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/efficiency.html